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Jazz Caliente: Exploring new sounds for Cinco de Mayo and celebrating the 'Sun of Latin Music'

Eddie Palmieri performing at at the Tito Puente Amphitheather in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2005
Eddie Palmieri performing at at the Tito Puente Amphitheather in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2005

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, and we'll celebrate with some new music from Mexican artists like Lila Downs and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Jazz Caliente this Saturday. 

We'll also salute the "Sun of Latin Music," Eddie Palmieri, who brings his Latin Jazz Septet to The Triple Door on Tuesday, May 7.

The entrancing Mexican singer/songwriter/actress Lila Downs releases her new album Al Chile today, just in time for Cinco de Mayo. She's appearing at Meany Center in Seattle on May 21. Here's her wonderful version of a popular Peruvian cumbia, "Cariñito."


Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have been performing together for 20 years, but it's been nearly five years since they released a new recording. We'll hear "Cumbé" from their latest, Mettavolution, on Saturday's show. Rodrigo y Gabriela's performance at Chateau Ste. Michelle on July 13 already is sold out. Here's "Electric Soul" from the new album:

Pianist/composer Eddie Palmieri's music spans salsa, soul, funk and jazz. His nickname, "The Sun of Latin Music," comes from the title of his 1974 album that showcased his stylistic diversity, as well as his composing and arranging skills. 

Palmieri is a 10-time Grammy winner and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. At 81, he still keeps a busy touring and recording schedule. KNKX Presents Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz Septet plays The Triple Door on May 7.  I'll be there for both shows, and it will be a night to remember.

Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.